Trifid Nebula, M20
Object Type: Emission & Reflection Nebula
Scope: Orion 10" Newtonian
Exposure 20 minutes
The Trifid Nebula (catalogued as Messier 20 or M20 and as NGC 6514) is an H II region located in Sagittarius. Its name means 'divided into three lobes'.
The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (the lower, red portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent 'gaps' within the emission nebula that cause the trifid appearance; these are also designated Barnard 85).
Viewed through a small telescope, the Trifid Nebula is a bright and colorful object, and is thus a perennial favorite of amateur astronomers.